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Old 04-08-2015, 11:17 PM   #21
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Our 43' Class A diesel pusher days are drawing to a close. We loved those days, but we're looking forward to the downsizing.

The Denali 2500HD pulling an Airstream... I think this combo (though with a 30FC) is how we're going to wind up. And we're excited about it!

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Old 04-09-2015, 08:49 AM   #22
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You are making the long term best choice. You can not appreciate the difference until you pull with it. Your wife made the same comment as mine. One day a diesel pulled up next to us with a few Cowboys in it and ever since she said she wanted one of those. I think she was talking about the diesel. Anyway that is what she got. Bigger is better.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:07 AM   #23
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Denali 1500 w/6.2L vs. Denali 2500HD Duramax

Just my observations,,, I own a couple of Duramax tow vehicles,,,

One is sidelined with an exploded piston, the other is running only needing head gaskets, new FICM and a couple of turbo rebuilds.

The truck with the exploded piston has about 70K miles, the runner has about 160K.

I expect that had we taken the truck to the dealership the repairs on the runner would have cost 15K or more....

The gas engined trucks I have doing the same work have lasted a minimum of 180K before needing major work and are MUCH cheaper and easier to repair.

I am a bit sour on the D-Maxes... But what I said above is true life.


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Old 04-09-2015, 10:17 AM   #24
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You are making the long term best choice. You can not appreciate the difference until you pull with it. Your wife made the same comment as mine. One day a diesel pulled up next to us with a few Cowboys in it and ever since she said she wanted one of those. I think she was talking about the diesel. Anyway that is what she got. Bigger is better.


That's a good one! I love it.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
Our 43' Class A diesel pusher days are drawing to a close. We loved those days, but we're looking forward to the downsizing.

The Denali 2500HD pulling an Airstream... I think this combo (though with a 30FC) is how we're going to wind up. And we're excited about it!
Good choice!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:23 AM   #26
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2500 HD Denali D-Max

My two cents worth:
We have a 2013 2500 HD Denali with Dura-Max, 2013 Flying Cloud 28 & Reese Twin-Cam WD hitch.
Loaded tongue weight is about 1200 lbs.

We also have two sea kayaks, two bicycles, two Honda generators, backup gasoline, backup diesel, two toolboxes, step ladder and other accessories, all on a pull-out Bedslide and under a roll-up tonneau cover.

With the Reese anti-sway hitch we've had no problems whatsoever, whether being passed by semi's or driving along the St. Lawrence with 40+ mph cross-winds. We've also had to make a few sudden stops.

The crew cab provides back-seat passenger &/or storage space.
Also, inside, the Denali provides comfort for long trips: heated & cooled leather seats with good back support, multi-speaker Bose noise-suppression sound system. The higher stance gives us better visibility(although at the price of a higher center-of-gravity).

Last summer, on a 4000 mile trip through New Brunswick, around a very hilly Gaspé Peninsula, west through Québec, Montreal and Ottawa(with much city driving)down through the Adirondacks and Green Mntns we averaged 12 mpg.
Without the AS, we average ±15 mpg.
All in all, we feel comfortable and safe with our rig.
Good luck with whichever you choose.
Dave
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:21 PM   #27
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I just went through the same deliberations, between the GMC half ton 6.2, the Denali 2500 diesel and a Ford F350 diesel. I went with the Denali 2500HD for the following reasons: 1. payload - our 25' Classic has a 1100 lb tongue weight and we like to bring along some toys; 2. quality of interior and ride (a bit nicer than Ford, not quite as nice as the 1500); 3. high altitude Rocky Mountain towing - we like hiking, in the West. The turbo diesel will be better at high altitude - better torque and better mileage.

Decided I can live with the more truck-like ride. We don't need it for day to day grocery shopping.
I know exactly why you made that choice and I did the same. The Denali 2500HD is a superb truck. Basically a 3/4 ton Cadillac pickup with a great (and quiet!) diesel engine. Acceleration is quite impressive, when you stick your foot in it! I don't think you can have too much truck when towing, even with a lighter weight Airstream.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:22 PM   #28
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I knew you were going to jump on the Denali Duramax once you get to compare both at the dealership. You will be fine with either Ford, Dodge or GMC exhaust brake and torque . Best wishes and post pics when delivered.
Attachment 235879Attachment 235881


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F450Harley... nice Denali 2500HD ya got there! We will be joining the club next week. Very excited. I know that any of the big three heavy duty truck brands can and will do the job just fine. But there is something about the Denali that really flips my switch.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:52 PM   #29
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I do not have either one. I do have a 2500 diesel Dodge. My advise is to buy the 2500 Denali. We drive the 2500 as a daily driver and like it.
Bill... thanks for the comments. Glad to hear that you enjoy the 2500 diesel as a daily driver. We're retired (aside from internet business that we do) so our daily driving needs are just a run to the store for this or that... no commuting, so I'm confident the HD truck will serve just fine for our towing as well as daily driving needs.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:12 PM   #30
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I've been shopping for a truck to pull my 27 FC for almost a year -- and have test driven both of these trucks. No question the 1500 is the nicer drive; it's downright car-like and super quiet. BUT the 6.2 requires premium fuel, so you won't be paying less per gallon for fuel with the 6.2. Also you will not find a 1500 6.2 with a rated payload greater than 1500 lbs. unless you get the max trailer tow package, which several dealers have said Chevy/GMC are not building right now. By rated payload, I mean what the red white and yellow sticker on the driver's side door frame says. I know; I've been looking. You definitely have to horse the 2500 around like the heavy truck it is. Also, bear in mind that most diesels quiet down after they've warmed up. So if it seems like a lot of racket from the engine when you test drive, it may be because it's not warmed up. Diesels warm up more slowly than gas engines, especially under light load.
DC Bruce... yep, we see it the same way. The 1500 is so carlike... actually almost too carlike for my liking. When driving them you could almost think you were driving a car. And when looking at the 1500 trucks, from a distance, they seem small and carlike in appearance. I was looking at the new Sierra and Sierra Denali 1500s and they kind of look like the mid-size Dakota trucks... they don't look like full size trucks to me anymore.

I can, however, definitely see the appeal to many of having a very car-like 1/2 ton American truck. They're very comfortable and so easy to drive.

But for me, I'm drawn to the more trucklike 2500 series, even though they do require (as you say) being "horsed" around. At the same time we see that as something of an advantage... they give a much better view of the road, establish more of a commanding presence on the road, and are certainly much better in terms of a safety margin to take on towing demands and weight loading. And in a collision with other vehicles, the big truck occupants have a better likelihood to escape damage.

The payload really is a big deal, beyond just the capability to pull a certain weight. While the 1500 may be able to technically pull a certain weight of trailer, you are so limited to whatever else you can pile in the truck, as well.

So, for all these reasons, we've decided the Denali 2500HD with Duramax and Allison is what we will go with. There is an Iridium color version of this truck inbound the first of next week to our (awesome) GMC dealership. It has our name on it. WooHoo!

In other news, just yesterday we ordered our 2016 30' Flying Cloud Recliner model (declining the actual recliners themselves) with 50amp, 2nd AC, inverter, awnings, 16" wheels/Michelins. Looks like we're about 6 weeks out. Another WOOHOO!
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:42 PM   #31
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For all the reasons stated above, especially more payload, we also bought a 2015 Sierra Denali HD 2500 with Duramax and the Allison. It tows like a dream, especially in comparison to our previous truck (Ford F150).

DHart, I think you made a great decision! Enjoy your new truck and your new trailer. And good choice on the color Iridium, we almost got one in that color. But our "Sonoma Red Metallic" color is nice too, and the only one we found with towing mirrors at that time.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:55 PM   #32
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For all the reasons stated above, especially more payload, we also bought a 2015 Sierra Denali HD 2500 with Duramax and the Allison. It tows like a dream, especially in comparison to our previous truck (Ford F150).

DHart, I think you made a great decision! Enjoy your new truck and your new trailer. And good choice on the color Iridium, we almost got one in that color. But our "Sonoma Red Metallic" color is nice too, and the only one we found with towing mirrors at that time.
time2play... nice rig you have there. And the red Denali looks awesome! We'll look for you on the road!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:34 PM   #33
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Here is ours in Summit White. I didn't want a white one but the color (or lack thereof) has really grown on me. Love the cocoa/dune interior too. You're gonna love yours!!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:36 PM   #34
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Here is ours in Summit White. I didn't want a white one but color (or lack thereof) has really grown on me. Love the cocoa/dune interior too. You're gonna love it!!
TinShack.... the white looks great! And goes with the Airstream beautifully. Thanks for sharing that nice pic.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:46 AM   #35
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Very interesting to read here that people feel safer sitting higher.

We have a 2015 2500 GM 6.0 Litre Gas motor that we use mainly to tow large fifth wheels. When I drive and use that truck the thing I really don't like about it is the ridiculous height. It has a very tall center of gravity for no good reason.

I feel it is the least safe vehicle in our fleet. It is the least capable of avoiding an accident, the longest stopping distance, the most likely to roll over and the most likely to suffer a roof collapse if it does roll over. It is also the most likely to cause severe injury to anyone you might have an accident with.

Certainly the power of all the large diesels is amazing during testing last fall we were turning 21 second quarter miles with them towing 15,000 pound fifth wheels. If you like the truck and I know lots of people like big trucks. A good friend of my drives one and he never tows or carries anything. If you fall in that category by all means buy one but safety probably should not be major part of the equation. I know it feels big and solid but when you try and make it perform in anything but a straight line the numbers are not great.

Just something to consider.

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Old 04-11-2015, 06:57 AM   #36
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The bigger and higher the truck, the more likely it will be the cause of an accident, rather than help prevent it. Always go for the lower centre of gravity and the more sophisticated suspension setup, payload permitting.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:10 AM   #37
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My Chevy 1500 HD had the best of both worlds. It drove like a 1500, and towed like a 2500. Plus it has 4 wheel steering! (Backs a trailer like you would not believe)

However, it is 10 years old with 106,000 miles on it, and I'm in the mood for something new.

I looked at the 1500 with the 6.2 and 8 spd tranny, and the 2500 with the 6.0 liter. (The oil burner is way too expensive, and way too thirsty)

The 1500 is much more nimble in traffic and in parking lots. Gas mileage is much better. I can stand on the ground and slide in without climbing. I can jump out without feeling that I could use a parachute. I ordered one.

The only drawback I see to the 1500 is the lighter suspension on bumpy roads. On my HD there is a button I can push to firm up the suspension. Gonna miss that. So, I will install rear airbags with air pump and control so I can increase suspension firmness when needed while driving.

I doubt that I will live another 10 years, so this will most likely be my last truck. My extensive research tells me I will like this truck. I certainly hope I'm right.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:22 AM   #38
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Denali 1500 w/6.2L vs. Denali 2500HD Duramax

A relatively high but reasonable center of gravity has never made me feel unsafe, and the added visibility that this can provide makes me feel more safe because I can see better in traffic, thereby helping to avoid getting in tight spots to begin with.

Of course I have always driven trucks so that is what I am used to. I prefer "heavy" half tons, but have owned (and still do) and towed with 1/2 ton to large semi tractors, I have never been in a spot where center of gravity has made me feel out of control or made me think I was ever anywhere close to rolling over.

What makes me cringe is the unreliability of, and the expense and effort of keeping my Duramax trucks running.


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Old 04-11-2015, 08:34 AM   #39
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@TerryV.....what is 4 wheel steering?
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:42 AM   #40
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Very interesting to read here that people feel safer sitting higher.

We have a 2015 2500 GM 6.0 Litre Gas motor that we use mainly to tow large fifth wheels. When I drive and use that truck the thing I really don't like about it is the ridiculous height. It has a very tall center of gravity for no good reason.

I feel it is the least safe vehicle in our fleet. It is the least capable of avoiding an accident, the longest stopping distance, the most likely to roll over and the most likely to suffer a roof collapse if it does roll over. It is also the most likely to cause severe injury to anyone you might have an accident with.

Certainly the power of all the large diesels is amazing during testing last fall we were turning 21 second quarter miles with them towing 15,000 pound fifth wheels. If you like the truck and I know lots of people like big trucks. A good friend of my drives one and he never tows or carries anything. If you fall in that category by all means buy one but safety probably should not be major part of the equation. I know it feels big and solid but when you try and make it perform in anything but a straight line the numbers are not great.

Just something to consider.

Andrew T

This is a very one sided view of things. Safety is not just about rollover risk. Let's say you rear end a semi. With a sedan you have a much higher chance of sliding under the semi and be in a fatal accident. This would not happen to a vehicle with a higher stance. The good visibility also allows you to anticipate things. There are trade offs for everything (nothing is absolutely better) and you need to know both the good and bad before making a decision.
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